New California Laws to Affect Drivers in 2013

Several laws and amendments passed by the California State Legislature will go into effect on Jan. 1 and could affect many California drivers.

The new year is almost here and with it comes the resolution, a promise to change the way we've done things in the past.

The state of California has made several resolutions herself and we've decided to focus on the ones that affect drivers.

Below is a list of new laws or changes to existing laws that go into effect on Tuesday and will likely affect you as a California driver.   

  • Passenger Charter-party Carriers’ Act, AB 45: Any driver of a chartered limo or bus will be required to make sure that passengers are of the legal drinking age when alcohol is being consumed in their vehicle. If a minor is found to have been drinking alcohol during the ride, the driver is required to return that passenger to where they were picked up.  
  • CHP Silver Alerts, SB 1047: The California Highway Patrol will implement a "silver alert" into its emergency alert system to allow it to assist in searches for missing people over the age of 65. 

How will these laws affect you? Tell us in the comments section below.

  • Autonomous Vehicles, SB 1298: The law will allow for self-driving cars to be test-driven on public roads while a licensed driver is in the driver's seat. The driver will be able to take over immediate manual control in the event of vehicle failure or some other emergency.
  • Used Car Dealer Practices, AB 1534, AB 1447: Under AB 1534, used car dealers that provide direct financing to buyers must label their cars with specific information about them, including reasonable market value and the source of the information. AB 1447 will require these dealers provide a vehicle warranty, limit them from tracking customer vehicles with GPS devices and prevent them from being able to electronically disable a vehicle without signed consent from the buyer at the time of purchase.
  • Hands-Free Text and Driving, AB 1536: The law will allow a person to send and receive text messages while driving if they are doing so using a phone's hands-free, voice-operated functions.   
  • Veteran License Plates, AB 1550: Veterans will be able to apply for specialized plates designating them as participants of specific wars or conflicts with the use of new decals. Old decals will be phased out depending on demand and cost of production.
  • California Legacy Plates, AB 1658: Drivers whose cars are registered in California will be able to opt for specialized license plates that look similar to plates used in the state in past years.
  • Traffic Violator School, AB 1888: The law will allow a driver with a commercial license who has committed a traffic offense to attend traffic violator school, thus preventing them from getting a point on their license.
  • Driving Under the Influence, AB 2020: A person arrested for suspected DUI will no longer be given the option of a urine test. In previous years, the option was given of either a urine test or a blood test.
  • Choose Clean Cars Act, AB 2405: Vehicles that meet California's super ultra-low emissions standards may qualify for stickers which will allow for single-driver travel in high-occupancy vehicle lanes. 
  • Vessel Registration Fees, AB 2443: The registration fee for boat owners will increase to support the monitoring and infestation prevention of dreissenid mussels, which attach to the bottoms of boats.
David Smith January 04, 2013 at 07:12 AM
Herman Cain would have given the libs' boy in the White House a good ol' Southern lynching, politically, at least. We would have had the first real black American as our president and a fiscally-conservative one at that. We would have also had a true American who understands finance, business and job-creation, not some "community organizer" hell-bent on destroying the nation.
David V. January 04, 2013 at 07:12 AM
Not fair. It is true that the payroll tax cut -- which reduced taxes from 6.2 to 4.2 percent of income under about $110,000 -- will end this year. And it's a shame, causing poor and middle class people to pay more, as you indicate. But it was the President who proposed the payroll tax cut over the last two years. I think he should have pushed for it again; but the Republicans were against it, and it didn't generate enough Democratic support either. It would have been much better to continue this tax cut and tax those making $250-$450K more.
David Smith January 04, 2013 at 07:17 AM
If you check the finances of the state, the CA Treasury will need a whole lot more than Prop 30 to bail it out of the mess created by Brown and previous governors, Schwarzenegger included. The Dems forever fail to understanding that taxing the state out of debt is a failed option without equal or more cuts in spending.
Naila, sch2 January 04, 2013 at 08:15 AM
The discussion above about the cell phone use in cars just shows how some people are so unaware and ignorant to what's really going on. The events in Italy, Greece concerning their economy will happen here. But people won't believe it till it's here. America has been blessed for so long now, I believe cause our fathers raised this country with Christian values. Now all that is being is OBAMANIZED!.. America better stay with Israel for God will punish her enemies. Our economy and defense for America is at stake here today. Protect your family when the economy crashes. The gangs and bad people will come out to hurt you. They will be upset when they don't get their checks and can't afford gas, food and no jobs. Just saying..
Poleter January 15, 2013 at 01:51 AM
Plate California 5LJD213 near Cerritos is a very aggressive woman driver that could cause accident near the high school area.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »